Don’t just sit there–do some science!

Amy Mayer at wrote a nice story about citizen science, featuring a few insights from Science for Citizens contributors Drs. Lisa Gardiner and John Ohab. Here’s a quick excerpt: Aspiring research scientists, environmentalists, mobile technology aficionados and video game buffs all can contribute to myriad citizen science projects, along the way joining a global … Read more “ Don’t just sit there–do some science!”

Categories: Citizen Science, In the News

Whales and Glaciers: A Citizen Science Adventure

Guest post by Kate Atkins If your first thoughts when you hear the word “cruise” are fruity drinks with paper umbrellas, jet skis, and late nights in the hot tub: think again. Replace the hot tub with Mendenhall Glacier, the fruity drink with test tubes of fresh stream water, and the jet ski with a … Read more “Whales and Glaciers: A Citizen Science Adventure”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Birds, Chemistry, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

What’s in your water heater? NASA wants to know!

Researchers at Penn State University need your help to study the distribution of microorganisms in household hot water heaters. Turns out your everyday hot water heater can double as a model hot spring, one of Earth’s extreme environments where important clues about microbial life in the Solar System might be found. First, researchers want to … Read more “What’s in your water heater? NASA wants to know!”

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Health, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Divers Help Quell the Roar of Invasive Lionfish

It seems strange to mark the location of a fish, doesn’t it? They can swim and move away from the marker, right? I wonder while standing on a dock waiting for the boat that will take about ten of us out to a reef. There, we will scuba dive for fun and also mark the locations of lionfish, an invasive species in the Caribbean. Volunteer divers on the Dutch island of Bonaire are helping Bonaire National Marine Park eliminate invasive lionfish from its coral reefs by marking the locations where the fish are found. A diver who spots a lionfish is instructed to attach a small flag, provided by the park, to a rock near the fish. The answers to my questions about marking fish locations become clear once I splash into the water and see the fish and flag markers for myself. Swimming along sections of reef, I saw dozens of flags that had been placed there by divers and each had one or more lionfish hovering nearby. It turns out that lionfish don’t stray far from their particular nook of reef. They stay near the markers. It’s illegal to hunt or in any way harm marine life in the waters surrounding Bonaire. Except, that is, for lionfish. They are beautiful fish, placidly fluttering their glitzy ruffle of fins, and hovering next to their flags. Yet, a voracious appetite for reef fish combined with a high rate of reproduction and no known predators in the Caribbean make lionfish a threat to biodiversity. Native to the Pacific, the lionfish is an invasive species in the Caribbean. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Ocean & Water

Meet us at the World Maker Faire in NYC!

Science For Citizens is teaming up with Discover Magazine to help inspire more people to get involved in citizen science activities! Come get your hands dirty with science at the World Maker Faire in NYC, September 17-18 at the NY Hall of Science. Organized by the staff of MAKE magazine, and, Maker Faire … Read more “Meet us at the World Maker Faire in NYC!”

Categories: Citizen Science, Science Cheerleaders

Citizen Paleontologists Are Making History

During the last Ice Age, mammoths and mastodons roamed Florida. Today, fossil hunters like James Kennedy of Vero Beach, Florida find their bones. “I'm not a scientist,” said James in a recent interview for National Public Radio. “I just go out and dig up bones good. I'm good at finding them." But I’d contend that James is a scientist – a citizen scientist. Many people collect fossils. I like to think of these fossil hunters as “citizen paleontologists” and they can play important roles in scientific discovery. For example, one of the bones James collected is more than just a fossil. It’s also prehistoric art. An image of a mammoth is engraved on the bone. Scientists estimate that the engraving was made at least 13,000 years ago. It’s an important clue to how humans lived at the time. Several research projects are combining the skills and interests of citizen paleontologists with those of scientists in order to help us understand more about earth’s history and evolution. Here are a few examples of projects that are getting citizens and researchers working together and leading to scientific discoveries. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Citizen Science, Geology & Earth Sciences, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

“Changing Planet” Town Hall: clean energy, green jobs

On Tuesday, July 26 at 9pm ET, The Weather Channel will air the “Changing Planet” Town Hall focused on clean energy and green jobs. Science for Citizens is a partner in this three-part series. Here’s more information from NBC News: This town hall broadcast is the second in a 3-part series that brings together scientists, … Read more ““Changing Planet” Town Hall: clean energy, green jobs”

Categories: Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, In the News, Science Education Standards, Science Policy

Changing Currents turns students into environmental scientists

Changing Currents, a project originating in Toronto, Canada, familiarizes middle- and high-school students with local watersheds and teaches them how to conduct water quality analyses. This is a great way for students to become environmental scientists for a day! After heading out to a local stream and donning hip waders, students collect water samples and analyze … Read more “Changing Currents turns students into environmental scientists”

Categories: Biology, Chemistry, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Citizen Science in Puerto Rico

Citizen science is taking off in Puerto Rico! According to a story at Ciencia PR, citizen scientists are playing an important role in the conservation efforts for the Hacienca La Esperanza Reserve, which houses the only coastal forest in Northern Puerto Rico. Through the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust’s Citizen Science Program, volunteers have the opportunity to explore and observe the … Read more “Citizen Science in Puerto Rico”

Categories: Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, In the News, Science Education Standards

Studying Dragonfly Swarms with Citizen Science

In July of 2009, a friend and I arrived at a lake to collect water samples for work. We had worked at the lake many times, but something was different that day: several hundred dragonflies were flying over the grass. We often saw dragonflies, but there were 50 times the usual number and they weren’t … Read more “Studying Dragonfly Swarms with Citizen Science”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Guest Contributor, In the News, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water